To The Daily Sun,
After reading the various letters concerning the issue of female toplessness on our local beaches, I just have this to say. This, in my opinion, should not be about whether people should have equal "rights" to expose their bodies to the view of others, or a matter of showing pride in the human body. It should be a time to re-examine what we as a society consider sacred, worthy of respect, and private. Is there anything left that we won't share with the rest of the world? We seem to have such a need to let it all hang out in public, where literally anyone can see you, download your private life, or steal your identity. Is there anything that's truly our own anymore?
Like it or not, people judge by appearances; by how we dress (or not), how we talk and behave in public. Like it or not, men's and women's bodies are very different, and each sex reacts differently to certain visual cues. Men tend to be more visually stimulated than women, and that is why we women need to be careful of how we present ourselves in public.
I am not making men out to be animals, unable to control themselves, far from it. I am saying that we need to rediscover what makes men and women wonderfully different from each other, and respect those differences enough to control our own desires for the good of others.
To assume that all people will act the same way, and respect someone who goes topless just because it's expected of them, is naïve and foolish. To insist on all things being equal for all people is unrealistic, and ultimately self-defeating. When we try to make a world where "anything goes," in the end what's good and right goes too, right out the window.
The mark of maturity in relation to our bodies is not the casting aside of clothing, but the awareness of the profound dignity of the human person as a whole, including the body. When a woman knows her true value, and that she is worthy of respect from others because she is a person, then there is no need to be topless to prove that she is as good as the men.
One letter writer said that we should teach our children to love and be proud of their bodies, like he was taught, or don't bring them out. How far should we take that? Should we let infants go diaperless (ew!), or little girls and boys go without a swimsuit just so they can be proud of their bodies? What is the limit? Is it really necessary to expose your bodies to others to have equal rights, or is it just done to get attention and admiration? Even the Europeans, with their many topless beaches, have to impose some limits on behavior, or there would be chaos and car accidents.
If we halt nudity at the gates to our beaches, it could be a tool to help people know what the boundaries are in our society.
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